In a matter of seconds, three prominent icons disappeared from my phone. I was searching for clarity in an uncertain time. It began as a social media detox, but it led to a total lifestyle audit.
I love and frankly thrive in the digital world we live in today. This decision was made before everyone was forced to stay inside for what did and still does feels like an eternity. Being placed under mandatory quarantine is straining, both for the entire body and the eyes.
My lack of online presence was substituted quickly for binge-watching TV and video games, not the most healthy way to pass the time by any standard. As most people probably discover, TV and video games feel repetitive and mind-numbing quickly. I had nothing but time. The bigger question was if it would end up being time wasted or utilized.
My body craving movement and my eyes begging for a break, a brisk walk appeared like the perfect solution. I didn’t know it yet, but cabin fever had allowed me to better my life.
I began to walk three miles every day. After a few walks, I craved more mental stimulation. The solution was audiobooks and podcasts. They allowed me to learn and connect with people I didn’t even know. I found this to be a much more fulfilling way to entertain myself rather than scrolling through news feeds.
Not all podcasts or audiobooks are created equal. It takes time to find the right one. But when ‘The One’ presents itself, it’s like you’re rooted in the conversation. I found a much deeper connection to these strangers than I ever had over social media.
Consider myself lucky. I was able to find a deep connection through digital media. I used to be stuck doing what everyone else was doing: talking over Facebook, or posting my ‘life’ on Instagram. None of these menial activities gave me any benefits.
Audiobooks and podcasts may not be the right solutions for everyone. Some people might get that deep-rooted connection through social media. To each their own.
Everyone is looking for more depth and engagement in the online world. Broadly speaking, people tend to use the same digital platforms as everyone else. It just took a worldwide pandemic for me to find what was right for me.
By Dylan Welling
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